We asked shift-work expert Emma from The Other Shift

The new norm is changing lots of things! Face masks, social distancing, pubs and bars with screens everywhere. Life is very different in the post-covid world. 

Work is no different. Many people are starting flexible working, being asked to split work between home and the workplace. 

More and more people are looking for new jobs as well. Which means that shift work is on the increase in all it’s different ways. 

Whether it’s care work, traditional shifts, short term contracts, flexible working etc. the same issues are faced! The issues that shift workers deal with every day of every year. 

Time to Ask The Experts!

In light of this, we asked shift-work expert and blogger, Emma, from popular website theothershift.com, to give us the lowdown on what it’s really like being a shift worker. And importantly, what people new to any form of shift working can expect. 

The Other Shift is a fantastic resource site for Shift Workers of all kinds. It contains a huge range of resources, articles and downloadable content, that can help you manage your shift work. It’s run by two very friendly Australians, Em and Dan. Who live in the US and have made it their goal to support shift workers and help them manage their shift work lives. 

Here’s what Emma had to say:-

1.    Tell us the best thing about working shifts

For me personally, I love the freedom shift work provides! Working full time as a nurse, whilst also trying to help others via my blog (and trying to fit in my husband and a social life) would be really tough if I was a traditional 9-5 worker. Being able to impact the roster that I work at the hospital provides variety in my day.

There are times when an afternoon shift allows me to complete my blogging before work. I also have time available during the week to run errands, when others would only have that opportunity on the weekend. For a person who loves doing something different each day, this working arrangement suits me perfectly.

2.    What’s the worst thing about working shifts

It does require a little more organisation. There are times where I can have so many different things on the go, that if I don’t have somewhere to organise my life it could just all mesh into one and nothing would ever get done. Though with the help of technology, everything goes into the MyShiftPlanner app and I never miss a beat (well, most of my days anyhow).

3.    New to shifts – what was the biggest shock?

When I first started, it was a shock to the system with how much I was on the go all the time. Coming from university, where I studied and not much else, to working random shifts (including nights) left me a little tired and I couldn’t really get on top of my sleep or energy levels.

Over time though, I put some strategies in place to organise my sleep routine, eat better, exercise and live a healthier life and I haven’t missed a beat since.

4.    What takes most time to get used to

Sleeping during the day! I don’t think this will ever be a great feeling, but do put some time into making your bedroom conducive to sleep. Remove the clutter, limit blue light, block out blinds if possible and let your housemates know to be quiet. I’m never a very nice person when my husband wakes me up from a daytime slumber!

5.    What surprised you about working shifts

The comradery you have with your work colleagues. You’d be surprised at the friends you make on the job, as everyone is going through the same challenges and it gives you plenty in common. I found my friendship group also started to shift to my work, as it was also a little easier to lock down social events – my nursing team love a beer at the local pub after we finish up an afternoon shift.

6.    What advice would you give to someone new to shift work?

You’ll hear about how “hard” it will be, but I believe your mindset will impact your enjoyment greatly. Don’t get involved in the negativity associated with working whilst everyone else is at home, as your job has many positives the 9-5 worker is extremely also jealous of. Embrace your roster and make it work for your situation – you’ll see the positives from it very quickly.

If you ever feel down, make sure you check out our website (www.theothershift.com), as we’ve got more advice than you’ll ever believe on how to make the most from your shift working roster.

7.    Where can we find out more about “The Other Shift?”

The best place to find us in on the website; www.theothershift.com
We also share content across Facebook and Pinterest, so search for “The Other Shift” and you should see our logo and friendly faces.

Cheers! Emma Smith. Co-Founder – The Other Shift

Thanks from the MyShiftPlanner Team

We’d like to thank Emma so much for her contribution. It’s always great to hear from people who really understand what it means to do shift work! Check out Emma and Dan on The Other Shift for more information, resources and helpful chat. 

Have you got any advice for new shift workers? What’s your favourite thing about working shifts?

Let us know your advice and leave us a comment below.